I just got a batch of lm386 audio amplifying ic’s. I’m pretty stoked about it. Mostly because they were super cheap and I have seen them included in many applications.
Despite what you will read on many electronics forums, there are quite a few projects that you could use the lm386 for. So, I wanted to include some of them.
First off, here is one place you can find the datasheet for the lm386:
Here is the pinout for the lm386:
Interesting project #1
This looks simple enough to build and has a few options for modification.
Interesting project #2
Using the lm386 as an oscilator
This step by step shows how you can produce a square wave from the lm386. This is a good way (and cheaper?) to do something other than going the common 555 route.
Interesting project #3
In this example, the author uses a lm386 as an amplifier and then oscillates the power of the audio amp with a 555 timer IC. However, you could use the second interesting project to create the oscillator using another lm386.
Here a link to the original article:
DIY Tremolo Effects Pedal Schematic Using lm386 and a 555 timer
Although the experts will say things like “don’t bother with the noisy little lm386 audio amplifier” or “the lm386 isn’t an op-amp it’s an audio amplifier! There are some many better suited IC’s” or whatever, we can clearly see that there are many things that the beginner can do with a handful of them.
One could easily create an simple syth with an lm386 generating a square wave as the primary voice. With a little effort, another lm386 oscillator could be made to modulate the volume (i.e. Tremolo) or the pitch (i don’t know what that’s called). Finally, everything could be distorted through a distortion circuit and amplified to a little speaker or headphone jack.